Johnny Nelson: “AJ has to be sharp and fit; if not, he gets turned over”
Nelson feels one fighter will walk through his fellow heavyweight in Riyadh.
Francis Ngannou (0-1) is looking to shock the world for the second time, as he gets ready for his March 8th showdown with two-time heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Cameroonian fighter proved doubters wrong when he took ‘The Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury the full 10 rounds last October, in a thrilling contest. Fury was dropped for the seventh time in his career, as the MMA convert landed a thunderous left hook in the third round.
The UFC legend is no longer an unknown quantity in the boxing world and may face a far tougher challenge in March as ‘AJ’ builds himself back up towards the prospect of lifting the heavyweight crown for the third time.
Part of the reason Ngannou performed so well against Fury is likely down to the Mancunian having to spend the majority of the bout figuring out the 37-year-old. Joshua likely won’t face the same issue as he now has 30 minutes of in-the-ring footage to work off of.
Speaking to Boxing King Media, the former WBO cruiserweight champion and boxing analyst Johnny Nelson revealed that he feels the former unified heavyweight champion will face nothing but an easy task in March.
“I think AJ gets the job done easily. Everybody knows what to expect [from Ngannou]. The same happened with Andy Ruiz and his fast hands. At first, you saw a little fat Mexican, nobody respected him then you see what he did to AJ, it’s like damn. How active has Ruiz been since those two fights with AJ? He’s in the 'who needs him club'.
“Now we know Ngannou can’t be hustled and pressed, you have to be on your a-game. You can’t go in there like Fury did and drop the ball because you’d be embarrassed. He knows Ngannou is tough, strong, and AJ has to be sharp, use his movement, be fit; if not he gets turned over.”
The Nevada-based fighter has the opportunity to flip heavyweight boxing on its head. Joshua looks ready to compete for the ultimate prize after demolishing Otto Wallin in December.
However, if Ngannou has something more up his sleeve we could see an ageing ‘AJ’ left with his career seemingly in tatters, and the WBC #10 would be seen as a serious threat to the division in only his second fight.